I don't know about you guys, but December has completely drained me. I've struggled multiple times with being sick, I haven't been sleeping well, my diet has been terrible (thanks holidays), and my anxiety level has been through the roof (can I blame the holidays for this too?!). The long and short of it: I simply haven't been taking care of myself.
This happens to me nearly every year, and I find that taking some time to refocus usually helps. I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions, so let's just skip that discussion altogether. I am, however, a huge proponent of stopping for a moment to gather my thoughts and re-center myself. The new year just happens to coincide with the time when I most need this type of attention.
Time for some radical self-care! Let's take a moment to go through the steps I plan to take to set my intention:
Sickness: It's always my sinuses. Always. In December alone, they flared up pretty badly at least twice. As some of you may know from previous posts here, I have a sensitivity to dairy that creates a lot of inflammation in my sinuses and feels like a constant sinus infection. Well, I've been eating my fair share of dairy lately, and I think it's caught up to me! (Cheesecake, anyone?) I think it might be time to take a break from it to see if I can start feeling better. The downside: no more dirty chai lattes. I checked, and the mix they use contains dairy *sad trombones*
Sleep: I'm guessing that this is being affected by everything else that's been out of whack, but I still have some simple ideas to help address the issue. First, my bedtime routine is nearly non-existent these days. I think it's time to return to the days of a nice cup of tea and maybe a few pages of reading or journaling (or blogging). Second, I haven't been going to the gym as much lately. Regular exercise *always* helps me sleep better. So...back to the gym I go.
Diet: Now that the holidays are over, this should be so much easier to accomplish! As I stated above, I'm going to remove dairy from my diet. I think this is enough of a step for now. I don't want to overwhelm myself with the time and energy investment of playing with a completely new way of eating like paleo, ketogenic, or Whole30 (all of which I have considered for various reasons). I'd rather use this time to refocus on what I know will work...not experimenting with new things. Keep it simple, stupid.
Anxiety: While I'm sure all of the steps listed above will have a huge impact on this area of my life, I also realize that I've gradually lost touch with my daily yoga and meditation practices. I don't feel like I need any extravagant rituals. I intend to spend at least 20 minutes each morning on my yoga mat...10 minutes meditating, and 10 minutes moving and stretching my body...with lots of focus on my breathing. I know this works wonders for my anxiety levels, so it's time to return to it.
What intentions do you have for January? And what steps can you take to get you there?